House to Vote on Iraq Funding Bill Today

The House of Representatives will vote today on the compromise legislation to pull out of Iraq, as part of the Iraq funding bill.

I was on a blogger conference call with Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday. Here's what she had to say:

She is proud of the conference report. The President should either sign the bill and honor it or veto it.

The goal is for troops to be out of Iraq by March, 2008. If the Iraqi government is not meeting the benchmarks by July, 2007, redeployment would begin this July. If they meet the benchmarks, the redeployment would begin in October, 2007 and must be with a goal of completion in 180 days, by March, 2008.


If Bush vetoes the bill, he might find sympathy in the public with his deadline argument. But, the bill calls for paced, responsible redeployment. To veto it makes him look more extreme.

Later, in the question and answer period, she said a vote against the bill is a vote for Bush. We need the highest vote possible for the override.

If we get this veto, the American people will see that Bush is digging a hole and just won’t put the shovel down.

She suggested we contact the undecideds and urge them to support the bill. We should also call those who have agreed to support the conference report, and thank them.

On the supplementals added to the bill, Speaker Pelosi mentioned Katrina, children’s and veterans' health, agicultural disaster aid and some other domestic issues.

She said the supplementals are intended to deal with the unforeseen which is the purpose of supplementals.

She said Bush doesn’t want the American public to know the cost of the war, which is why he doesn't put it in his budget, he uses supplementals instead.

The conference bill that has come back is stronger in some respects than the one passed by the House even though the guideline of withdrawal is now just a goal.

"We have to end this war."

Waiver issue: Rep. Ike Skelton thought it would be stronger. Guidelines about equipment, time at home. What the President has to do when he sends people overseas who have not met the guidelines, he has to explain why.

On impeachment:

I oppose impeachment. We have to use our energies to end this war. The popular support is not there, there will be no Republican votes to go forward....George Bush is just not worth it.

She listed the Democrats' priorities:

  • protect our country and constititutional rights. End war in Iraq.
  • how we grow our economy
  • care for our children, aged 0 to 5
  • preserve our planet
  • strengthen our democracy through transparency, fiscal accountability, highest ethical standards.

If we get this accomplished in next few months, we will do more for our own re-election and then get a Democrat elected in 2008.

Also writing up the call, Kid Oakland at My DD.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Yes, it's a process. (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by walt on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 11:59:35 AM EST
    And during this long, staged, presentation of political drama, US Armed Forces members & Iraqi civilians are dying & being maimed.  Grrrrrrr.

    binding or non-binding? (none / 0) (#1)
    by selise on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 11:58:24 AM EST
    If they meet the benchmarks, the redeployment would begin in October, 2007 and must be completed in 180 days, by March, 2008.

    my bold.

    Jeralyn -

    is it really a "must" or a "goal"?

    if a "must", could you please point out where the binding withdrawal language in this conference bill is?  i haven't read the whole thing, but i don't see it.... and it is being reported as non-binding... (like the senate version - not the house).

    if there isn't a binding withdrawal timeline, i expect to be lobbying my congress critters to vote against it.


    goal... (none / 0) (#3)
    by selise on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 12:51:27 PM EST
    ok, i'm reading through the bill now... and the language is "goal" NOT "must".

    from section 1904 (conference report h.r.1591):

    b) If the President fails to make any of the determinations specified in subsection (a), the Secretary of Defense shall commence the redeployment of the Armed Forces from Iraq no later than July 1, 2007, with a goal of completing such redeployment within 180 days.

    c) If the President makes the determinations specified in subsection (a), the Secretary of Defense shall commence the redeployment of the Armed Forces from Iraq not later than October 1, 2007, with a goal of completing such redeployment within 180 days.

    my bold.

    we're all entitled to our own opinions on this bill, but not to our own facts. imo, it's most important for us all to understand what the bill actually says.

    if i'm wrong ("must" vs "goal"), i hope someone will quickly correct me. but, if i'm correct, i hope jeralyn will quickly correct her post.

    can someone clarify please?



    I don't know the answer to that (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 01:25:06 PM EST
    I just typed up my notes of the call. Either my notes could be wrong or she could have meant something else by the comment. Sorry.

    thank you jeralyn!! (none / 0) (#5)
    by selise on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 01:49:47 PM EST
    thank you jeralyn!

    i've checked the bills, here are the links and relevant sections in case anyone is interested (or willing) to check up on me... it's so hard to get all this straight, and i don't want to call my rep without being clear on what's going on.

    conference bill (link here) - section 1904

    house and senate bill links are listed here.

    see house bill - section 1904
    and senate bill - section 1315


    "a vote for Bush" (none / 0) (#6)
    by Andreas on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 02:41:41 PM EST
    Later, in the question and answer period, she said a vote against the bill is a vote for Bush.

    Nancy Pelosi is a demagogue. She is one of those who support funding of a criminal war. She is one of those who support the mass murderer George Walker Bush.

    The WSWS writes today:

    As the Democratic leadership has made clear, the proposal both in its current form as well as in the previous House and Senate bills is by no means a plan for a complete withdrawal from Iraq.

    On the contrary, while fully funding the war, the measure seeks a strategic redeployment of US forces, with tens of thousands of US troops remaining in the occupied country for the purposes of "counterterrorism operations"--suppressing Iraqi resistance--protecting "US interests"--securing oil fields--and training Iraqi puppet forces that have already been implicated in widespread torture and sectarian killings.

    Moreover, the Democrats are increasingly posing the issue not as a question of pulling back from the unrestrained militarism with which the Bush administration is identified, but rather an alternative strategy for utilizing US military force to pursue US global interests.

    Washington's Iraq funding "confrontation:" a dispute over tactics for continuing the war
    By Bill Van Auken, 25 April 2007

    The Domestic spending came first (none / 0) (#7)
    by Ben Masel on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 07:26:00 PM EST
    for the Conference Committee, and striking the binding language the price to be paid to get it signed.

    Let the Generals Run the War (none / 0) (#8)
    by barrerod on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 07:58:54 PM EST
    Speaker Pelosi's statements echo the desire of the grand majority of the American population: we want our troops home, and we want them home now. There's a problem with this wish though. There is a broad consensus among foreign policy EXPERTS (they don't run for office, so they don't need to lie) that leaving Iraq would create a power vacuum that could only aggravate the situation IN Iraq and quite possibly engulf the whole region in conflict thereafter. In other words, it really isn't in our national interest to leave now. Like it or not, we're in it for the long haul wether we leave on the Democrats watch and return in a few months or years as the situation worsens, or on the Republican's watch, which would take years, but with the right strategy would get the job done.
    I understand the general populations concern with a war that is costing many American lives and precious other resources. I also understand that the general population has extremely limited knowledge in International Relations. What truly blows my mind however is the Democrat's choice to pursue a policy of public relations while ignoring their knowledge (supposed knowledge) of International Relations. Both parties have a responsibility to share this knowledge with the American people and they MUST explain that whether you were for this war or against it (as I was), leaving now would make the situation in Iraq even more chaotic and would undermine our national security.
    Now for my opinion:
    There are two reasons why the Democrats are so vocal about withdraw:
    1. They havent been able to present the American public with the change they voted for in November (if they ever had any other plan except surrender, feel free to post it)
    2. They are more concerned with winning the White House in 2008 than doing their job. (almost a complete withdraw 7 months before the 2008 Presidential election smell a little fishy?)